by Gene Marrano
He was a veteran of the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, and the face of the National D-day Memorial project as it got off the ground in Bedford. Sgt. Bob Slaughter, who also wrote a book about his World War II experiences, died earlier this week at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Slaughter, who was 87, could often be found addressing civic groups or school children about D-day and the war. According to one published report, National D-day Foundation President Robin Reed said Slaughter, a Roanoke County resident, recently suffered from some falls and was being rehabilitated when he took a turn for the worse. Passing away in the morning hours just after Memorial Day seemed fitting for someone who gave so much of himself that the heroic efforts of the nation’s veterans in WWII might be remembered.
“It was a terrible ride to the beach,” Slaughter once told the PBS show, American Experience. “Over to our right, the battleship Texas was firing into the cliffs, and every time that big fourteen-inch gun went off, a tremendous tsunami swamped our boat, and the water would come over the side and just soak us and make our seasickness worse.” Slaughter told those stories of courage often – now its up to other survivors and the D-day Memorial he helped create to carry on that legacy.